NTUC, affiliated unions and associations, and the Government have come together to offer aid to union members living in Singapore who are facing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 situation. Together, they have committed $25 million as part of the NTUC Care Fund, where each affected union member can benefit from a one-off relief of up to $300.
NTUC, affiliated unions and associations, and the Government have come together to offer aid to union members living in Singapore who are facing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 situation.
Together, they have committed $25 million as part of the NTUC Care Fund, where each affected union member can benefit from a one-off relief of up to $300.
The initiative was unveiled by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng on 18 March 2020 at a care pack distribution event at Gardens by the Bay.
The NTUC Care Fund will be applicable to union members who have been retrenched with retrenchment benefits of not more than $6,500; those with dependants who were originally earning a monthly personal gross income of $3,400 and below; or if without dependants, had earned up to $1,500.
To be eligible, union members must have seen their income drop by at least 30 per cent due to the Covid-19 situation.
Self-employed members whose incomes have been adversely affected due to event cancellations due to Covid-19 will also be eligible.
Union members who are eligible will receive between $50–$300 in cash payment. NTUC estimates that about 108,000 union members will benefit from the initiative.
“With the recent Covid-19 developments, our workers have shared that their biggest concerns centre around sustaining their livelihoods and caring for their loved ones. This is especially so for our lower-income members as well as the sandwiched generation with multiple dependants,” said Mr Ng.
Affected union members can also tap on existing support for additional assistance for daily expenses and skills upgrading.
The support includes the CapitaLand-U Care Resilience and Enablement (CAP+Ure) Fund that provides interim help with members’ children’s daily necessities and schooling needs through a one-time disbursement of $250 NTUC FairPrice vouchers.
For training, existing members can also apply for the LIFT-UP Pathfinder, which provides customised training worth up to $500.
Other training assistance includes the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) that helps members defray 50 per cent of unfunded course fees of up to $250 a year.
Union members can apply for the NTUC Care Fund and other assistance programmes with their respective unions or through NTUC Membership from 25 March–30 September 2020.
“With the care relief provided by the Care Fund, together with other assistance programmes that NTUC is availing to our workers, we hope to ease their burden even for a while, and continue to help them in the areas of training and employability support so that they can remain relevant and ready when the upturn comes,” added Mr Ng.
Of the $25 million, the Government contributed $10 million, with affiliated unions and associations co-funding 10 per cent of the remaining $15 million.